Volleyball Falls at No. 16 WingateSeptember 14, 2013
WINGATE, N.C. – Anderson junior Hailey Pittman recorded a season-high 16 kills, but the Trojans dropped a 3-1 (19-25, 26-24, 19-25, 17-25) decision to preseason conference favorite and nationally 16th-ranked Wingate in volleyball action Saturday afternoon at Cuddy Arena.
“Tonight our team definitely came out with a different fire and intensity than the previous night,” said Anderson head coach Craig Mosqueda. “We struggled in different areas but picked it up in other areas. Hailey (Pittman) was unstoppable tonight. We just needed at least one other attacker to catch fire. I believe our Florida trip helped prepare us for this match and we will continue to grow from this point.”
Bidding for its first win versus Wingate (5-2, 2-0 SAC) since the 1999 campaign, Anderson slipped to 1-5 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
The first set saw six ties and three lead changes, with AU snapping the fifth tie score of the opening set on a kill by Pittman to take a 10-9 edge. The Trojans gained their largest lead of the frame moments later, at 11-9 on a service ace by redshirt freshman Priscilla Irizarry. But the Bulldogs used a 12-3 outburst to outburst to take control, pushing out to a 21-14 advantage, their largest lead of the set, and went on to claim the win.
Anderson took early lead in the second set and never trailed until the Bulldogs made a late charge to take a brief 24-22 edge. With the score knotted at 10 apiece, the Trojans took advantage of Wingate errors and reeled off four straight points, forcing the Bulldogs to call for a timeout. AU maintained the advantage and held a 19-15 lead before Wingate pulled within one on the strength of a 4-1 surge. Back-to-back kills from redshirt freshman Tinsley Hallman and Pittman boosted the Trojans’ edge back to 22-19, but WU countered with four straight points to go ahead, 24-22. The Trojans held off match point twice before capitalizing on three consecutive Wingate errors to take the set victory.
The third set was tied on three occasions, but Anderson was unable to wrestle the lead away from the Bulldogs, as Wingate posted a 9-2 surge to take a 15-8 advantage. The Trojans battled back within 23-19 but were unable to climb any closer.
AU pushed out to a 7-5 lead in the fourth set, but Wingate used a 15-3 run to build a double-digit, 20-10, cushion late in the frame, with the Trojans unable to get closer than 24-17 late in the set.
Pittman’s kill tally was just five shy of her career-high set last season and came on the strength of a .364 attack percentage. The Orlando, Fla. native also added three total blocks on the afternoon. Outside hitter Shannon Gillespie recorded nine kills and eight digs, while junior Meghan Cautero dished out 32 assists. Alix Hooker notched 15 digs, with Irizarry chipping in nine digs.
Anderson returns home to host Lincoln Memorial in the Trojans’ home opener Friday night at the Abney Athletic Center. First-serve versus the Lady Railsplitters is set for 7 p.m.